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tv   Early Today  NBC  December 5, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PST

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good thursday morning. here's what's coming up on "early today." the nation's mid section is in a deep freeze as the storm that blanketed the rockies moves next. nearly a year after the deadly school shooting in connecticut, the 911 calls made from inside the school are made public. a race against time in florida to free dozens of pilot whales stranded in shallow water. plus, fast food chains brace for a massive walkout. truck thieves in mexico get more than they bargained for. and the famous rockefeller center christmas tree lights up the night sky. "early today" starts right now. this is "early today" for thursday, december 5. good morning.
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i'm richard lui. a brutal weather system is bearing down across the united states. more than 30 million people are in the path of this arctic invasion. we have snow, ice, and extraordinary drops in temperature also expected and it's not over yet. let's start with nbc's miguel almaguer who has the story. >> reporter: the big chill impacting 33 million americans is bringing a brutal mix of ice, snow, and substore row temperatures to 27 states. in minnesota nearly three feet of snow in two days. >> it is going to be a white christmas. >> reporter: the arctic blast burying cars. conditions like these on the roads claiming at least six lives. by friday it could be 20 degrees below zero. states from california to mississippi to kentucky are bracing for pockets of record cold. >> we haven't seen anything like this for a while this early in the season. >> reporter: across much of the west, temperatures could plummet
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40 degrees below normal. in denver it went from nearly 60 degrees to 6 in one day. perfect for the polar bear at the zoo. not so ideal for this snowplow. the deep freeze is crippling california's citrus crop. 85% of the fruit in this multibillion dollar industry is still on the tree. they could lose it all in an overnight freeze. >> worst case we will lose about $2 billion worth of product and unemployment totaling somewhere around 15,000 people. >> reporter: a winter blast threatening half the country and to paralyze even more of the nation. >> and nbc meteorologist bill karins will join us in a minute with the full forecast. late wednesday, newtown, connecticut, released recordings of 911 calls made nearly a year ago. these calls reveal realtime reactions when a shooter walked into sandy hook elementary school and killed 21 first
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graders and six adults. nbc's jay gray has more. >> reporter: the 911 operators were steady and focused as callers described what was going on. a teacher pleading tr help saying somebody's got a gun. i caught a glimpse of somebody running down the hallway still shooting. school custodian described the shattered front window. during the call gun shots rang out in the background. he tells the operator, quote, i keep hearing shooting, i keep hearing popping. then he describes hearing only silence. following the wishes of survivors and family members of the victims, many who fought for nearly a year to block the release of the recordings, nbc will not air the calls. nicole hockley's son died in the attack. she talked with nbc's andrea mitchell this week. >> we don't feel the 911 calls should have been released, but that decision has been made now, and it will affect our community
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certainly and it will affect our families. >> reporter: but the father of one of the teachers who died in the rampage says he believes the calls should be heard. >> i think the more the public knows, there will be less confusion, there will be less people making up stories about what happened. >> reporter: because the truth is painful enough for a community still struggling to heal. jay gray, nbc news, new york. "the washington post" reports the nsa tracks locations of as many as 5 billion cell phones each day. now, the paper says classified documents leaked by former nsa contractor edward snowden reveals this. he said the spy agency is equipped with a computer program that can build relationship patterns of overseas calls that helps to reveal unknown terror suspects as well. these records do not track americans intentionally, but the nsa does come into contact with some domestic calls. 2 million passwords were stolen and leaked online from
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accounts you likely use yourself. facebook, twitter, google, and yahoo! accounts were compromised. facebook and twitter have reset the passwords of those affected. a facebook spokesman says, quote, it appears accounts may have been attacked using malware. the investigation also revealed this, the most common password in the set was 123456, used in nearly 16,000 accounts. bill karins is sitting by me, 123456. >> i got to change my. >> how about abcdef. a massive operation resumes this morning to save dozens of beached pilot whales. ten have already died in the waters of everglades national park in florida. now specialists are desperately trying to move president 41 living whales into deeper waters where they normally live before low tide returns.
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it's unknown how they ended up in such shallow waters, though this species is known for its close-knit social groups, so if one whale gets stuck, the others are more likely to stay behind as well. it was quite a night here at roch fe rockefeller center. take a look. >> three, two, one! >> wow. yeah, the rockefeller christmas tree lit up, ushering in the holiday season as it has every years since 1933. there's mariah carey. beautiful red dress performing "all i want for christmas." of course, the rockettes. the 76-foot norway spruce is covered with no less than 45,000 l.e.d. lights. as if the lights alone weren't festive enough, the tree is also topped with a 12-ton, 9 1/2-foot wide star. how they got that thing up there. we watched the tree come in.
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they put up the scaffold. >> i don't know how they get so many lights on. they do a lot of work on it. it gets the facial and the makeover. >> the full nine yards. the before and after. something we need every day. >> this cold air, you were talking about it. >> yeah, yeah. >> when it covers from texas to california and everywhere in between, it's a big cold air mass. this one, you know, who knows. maybe this will be the coldest one of the season. look at these windchill values. denver after getting the snow yesterday is waking up to a windchill of minus 27. it's one of the lowest on the map. a couple colder spots in more isolated areas up in montana. even wyoming is cold. that 25 in vegas doesn't feel good. these are the actual temperatures. of course, we're very concerned with the citrus crops in california. right now sacramento just dropped to 31. 38 in downtown san francisco. we know that we are getting a freeze in many areas. look at vegas. down to 31 is the actual temperature. this is a very cold air mass. hopefully not too much damage to the crops in the valley.
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as far as the weather map goes, when you're this cold, usually you don't have a lot of weather to deal with. just a huge cold high-pressure system that continues to dominate the weather map everywhere from the middle of the country to the west coast. we have a winter storm on the way for areas of the sierra in northern california. that's later tonight into tomorrow. that's your national fo be a problem until tomorrow. you know, it's not often this early in the season we get this cold, but who knows. maybe this is a sign of things to come or maybe it doesn't happen again. >> one never knows. a huge section of the united states all covered in white. bill karins, thanks. just ahead, a radioactive left it in mexico, enrollment picks up, and embattled toronto mayor
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rob ford tried to buy the tape showing him smoking crack.
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and welcome back. a suicide car bomber attacked yemen's defense ministry this morning. 18 soldiers were killed. at least 40 wounded. officials say the blast in the nation's capital was followed by a fire fight with gunmen who tried to take over the complex. they say as many as 12 of them had been killed. missing radioactive cobalt 60 has been found near the location the truck it was in was stolen. authorities say the material was taken out of its protective canister. they also say it poses no threat to the public. although, whoever opened it is in great danger. they believe the thieves were probably just interested in the truck itself. roughly 27,000 americans signed up for insurance on on tuesday. this brings the exchange's three-day enrollment total to 56,000. that's twice as many as all of october. president obama wednesday urged
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young activists not to give up on promoting the affordable care act. and new court documents say that toronto mayor rob ford may have offered $5,000 and a car to suspected drug dealers. that in exchange he wanted the videotape that appeared to show him smoking crack. the information is contained in police wiretaps of gang members. all right. let's get you over to business right now and cnbc. good morning, kayla. >> good morning, richard. fast food restaurant workers in 100 cities across the country are planning walkouts, strikes, and protests today. it's part of a push for a higher minimum wage. protesters will be calling for a $15 wage, which is more than double the current federal wage of $7.25. private sector job growth came in higher than expected at 215,000 jobs added in november, but more good economic news today could be bad news for stocks, which are on a four-day slide on fears it of the fed pulling back on its stimulus. and car service app uber is
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teaming up with home depot to deliver christmas trees on demand all day today in ten major cities. for $135, uber will deliver a tree and a stand right to your door as well as a surprise christmas gift from the company. little holiday spirit goes a long way. richard, back to you. >> definitely does. we can sit in our home and enjoy the holiday. sports headlines are just ahead, including an nba game that went up in smoke. and only the smootest will survive. jimmy kimmel hosts a dance-off with detroit's finest fans. you got to see this.
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the 113th congress is about to go down as the least productive in our american history. >> if you can believe it, only 55 bills have been signed into law this year. that makes this the least productive congress ever. >> the least productive congress in the history of the american republic. >> it literally is a do-nothing congress. >> oh, that's not fair. they're doing something. they're getting into the guinness book of world records. and, folks, that makes it twice if you count john boehner's fingernails. >> all right. now let's get the latest in sports for you. 2:00 p.m. eastern today, that's the time. an announcement that could affect the heisman. florida state attorney will disclose findings on sexual assault allegations against florida state's jamison winston.
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wednesday, he was named the acc's player of the year. he's the first red-shirt freshman to win in the conference's 61-year history. they were hoping for a record crowd in mexico city, but they got that instead. 45 minutes before the spurs/tim ber wolves tipoff, it filled with spoke in the aree ya. a smoex mpokesman says it was f generator malfunction. the lakers' kobe bryant will not be playing in friday's game. he felt general soreness in the foot he injured eight months ago. next possible play date, sunday. we don't need to wait until march for madness. carolina stunning number one michigan state. it's their first loss. the tarheels' more aggressive play throughout kept them in the lead in the game. they win 79-66. steelers coach mike tomlin got a hefty $100,000 fine. the charge, interfering with a play in progress. right there. the question, did he keep the running back from a touchdown by standing too close to the field
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during a play in action? well, in the end, the steelers did lose the game to the ravens, though the coach says his actions were embarrassing and inexcusable, the league still might reduce the team's draft picks. olympic skiing champ lindsey vonn was back upon the slopes on wednesday. the first time since a reinjury during a november training. she says she felt good, but we'll see how practice goes today before deciding to race this weekend. his shoe falls off, so michigan's nick stauskas throws it two rows deep. was he giving duke fans the heel? they didn't mind. they throw it back. some fans offering their black la lace-ups to stauskas. it's gone viral. close to 8 million views. a fan and the detroit pistons dancing usher battling on the dance cam last month. jimmy kimmel says, hey, let's take him inside our theater here and get a rematch. do you give it to the young antwan alexander or the usher? you got to give it to antwan.
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nice little kid. just ahead a home burglary scare for karrie russell. plus, the hills are alive with the sound of music. a preview of tonight's live event on nbc.
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welcome back. i mentioned it before, that there is going to be a little mini snowstorm heading to areas of central california. plenty cold enough. even lower elevations that don't typically get snow could see snowflakes out of this. mt. shasta to the tahoe area, 6
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to 12 inches at least. as far as the rain goes, not a lot. just a little towards the coast. richard is clapping. trying to get that free ski ticket at tahoe. >> i want to go home and get up there, my friend. i wouldn't mind that. >> as far as the sunshine goes, no problem out there during the day today. again, just very, very cold temperatures. today, 49 in san francisco. tomorrow, 51. a little bit of that rain coming in. by the way, san francisco still easily on track for their driest year ever. this one really won't take any dent into that. >> okay. i'm not picky. any ski resort west of the mississippi sounds good to me. now to entertainment for you. the live stage production of "the sound of music" airs tonight at 8:00 on nbc. do not miss that. see carrie underwood bring new life to that role made famous by julie andrews. some new information in the fiery car death of actor paul walker. according to the coroner's office, walker died of traumatic and thermal injuries. it was also announced wednesday that production of "fast &
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furious 7" has officially been shut down. israeli actress known for her part in "the fast & furious" franchise will be playing wonder woman in 2013. and nypd says thieves broke into a home of actress keri russell this week while she was sleeping. she woke up after hearing foot steps, called 911. two suspects are in custody right now. rapper jay-z celebrated his 44th birthday wednesday by announcing he and his super star wife are going vegan for 22 days. although, he prefers to call it plant-based diet. and remember heidi montag and spencer pratt? maybe you don't. "the hills" stars apparently are now broke after spending $10 million in just a few years.
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$30,000 shopping sprees and $10,000 dinners are evidently to blame. $10,000 for dinner? pratt's explanation, quote, we thought we were jay-z and beyon beyonce. >> they were lame then and they're lame now. >> at the time, spidey everywhere. they got all the attention. she with her plastic surgeries, he with his famous attitude towards life. >> you seem like you know a lot about them as a couple. >> how could we not know about them? >> i didn't know they were named spider or whatever. i take the high road. thanks for teaching me. i wish i could unlearn it. >> we'll talk more, my friend. i'm richard lui, this is "early today." we hope it's your first stop of the day today here on nbc.
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leading the news in the chicago tribune, driving off the decline in u.s. cities, study says. the newly release report saying americans on average drive 7.6% fewer miles now than when driving peaked back in 2004. why? well, due mainly to improvements in technology, high gas and auto prices and shifting attitudes. on, it's the great hexagon. storm pictures shine in saturn pictures. the orbiter capturing these amazing images of an unusual jet stream on saturn's north pole. any ideas? >> if i knew, i'd be rich. >> you also might be on that planet. stories we're watching today, breaking overnieght, a
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suicide car bomber attacks yemen's defense ministry. the blast was followed by a fire fight with gunmen who tried to take over the complex. as many as 12 of them have been killed. here at home, a massive mission. specialists are desperately trying to save dozens of beached whales in florida's everglades park. "the washington post" reports the nsa is tracking the location of as many as 5 billion cell phones each day. this according to documents leaked by former nsa contractor edward snowden. and in case you missed it, it's official now. the holiday season with the rockefeller center christmas tree, bam. aglow right outside our building here. the 76-foot norway spruce is covered with no less than 45,000 l.e.d. lights. all going to be working for a lot of years. the white house may be in some hot water, this time for one of its furrier family friends. furrier with more fur, i mean to say. sunny obama, the newly adopted dog, so excited during the first
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lady's christmas decorations unveiling that she knocked one of the attendees, little ashton, to the ground. the good news is ashton is okay. she got a kiss from sunny to help make it all better. >> maybe santa will have to bring her an extra big present under the tree. >> maybe from the president, first lady. >> maybe santa can deliver that. time for a look ahead and back. a hanukkah reception at the white house today. as in past years, president obama welcomes guests for a celebration to mark the last night of the jewish festival of lights. on this day in 1933, the end of prohibition. americans were finally able to drink legally after the amendment to the constitution was repealed. happy birthday to actress paula patton of the film "precious," who is 38, retired nfl quarterback jim plun ket and richard little. i'm richard lui. thanks for watching on this thursday. have a great day ahead of you.
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good morning. it's 4:30. i'm scott mcgrew. >> i'm laura garcia-cannon. that is out of san jose where a big rig has crashed and landed on construction equipment. it's happening on southbound interstate 880 at the stevens creek boulevard off ramp. it's close to valley fair mall. bob redell is live at the scene. what does it look like out there? >> reporter: we're trying to figure out how much impact this is going to have on the morning commute. here is is the big rig, a driver fell asleep heading south on 880 this morning, around quarter to 3:00. and what happened instead of continuing south on 880 he diverted landing in this construction area. the problem is there's a couple


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